“Deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy.
Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship.
And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep - spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way.”
-Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success
Craftsmanship is the art of using our hands and minds to create something exceptional, one-of-a-kind… something no one else on the planet could ever replicate. It requires deep work, deep thought, and inspiration from an idea or people we feel deeply connected to. Sometimes the connections we have with someone are inexplicable - it’s a sense that they speak the same language, have a similar mission, and see the world in similar ways as we do - even if their words, dialect and how they navigate looks vastly different from us. It’s rare and precious when we get to experience that kind of depth of connection - to a mission, a craft, and to a person or group of people.
The one-of-a-kind work we create - through whatever form of craftsmanship we dedicate ourselves to (for me currently it’s writing, teaching, consulting) - generates a feeling of deep fulfillment. It's knowing that our unique past serves a purpose. And that the way we experience and see life now - through our senses that blend the past into configurations of what we notice and what feels good to us - all of that weaves together into a way we express that no one else can.
one of my favorite spots for contemplation, journaling, sketching/diagramming/visioning
Space for deep work, thought and connection is created when there is physical and psychological safety. What excites me is that the book I am writing goes into the specific mechanics and frequencies of how human brain-body systems can be optimized through communication, social attachment and self- and co-regulation. The thousands of hours I’ve put into studying the actual wavelengths and frequencies emitted by our hearts, voices, faces and brains validates and parallels the various research I am bringing into each chapter. I can envision using the book as a framework for programs and retreats, and for my own daily life as I find ways to help kids, families and communities discover a sense of healing, wellbeing and optimization.
Part of my vision is to help deep work, thought, conversation, connection and craftsmanship enter more communities, especially those involving kids and young people. I hope to translate the science that can help us create learning and family environments for all members to dive deep into a state of fascination, flow, exploration, wonder and creation (more than states of consumption and comparison)... A 5-dimensional* way to use our minds, bodies and voices to craft exceptional works, innovations and relationships that help the world in some way.
*5-D: in my view, 5-D is the visceral, sensory-motor experience of the 3 dimensions of matter + time horizons to integrate our history, present and future + a sense of mission/purpose that contributes to the evolution and wellbeing of the ‘whole system’
Take time to disconnect from the noise of the world. Allow space to find who and what makes your heart sing. Allow those roots to take their time to grow. Trust that as long as you patiently keep a continuous focus on your North Star, the way your seeds grow and what their roots and branches lead you to will surprise you in beautiful ways.
Thank you for the beautiful emails I got in response to my last newsletter, where I shared that I am taking a short break from the podcast. I’m grateful to all of you for your support as I continue to create space for the deep work I am putting into this book and to re-organizing my priorities and living situation so I can explore new ways to share my insights, find my 'team', co-create my family and community of choice, and bring you content in the new year 🙂 I'll be helping my parents out for a bit in Calgary Canada in January, before headed to the beautiful flathead valley area of Montana in the spring.
In my next update, I will share a few highlights from sections of the book on the Biomechanics of Human Communication.
(If you'd like to read a short passage I wrote about how early life experience may hold us back from exploring our highest potential, click here )
ps. - I recommend Cal Newport's book, Deep Work as well as my personal favorite, So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love